The Perfect G.O.P. Nominee

Hillary has written that Kissinger is an “idealistic” friend whose counsel she valued as secretary of state, drawing a rebuke from Bernie Sanders during the primaries: “I’m proud to say Henry Kissinger is not my friend.”

.. And he still blindly follows his ego, failing to understand the fundamentals of a campaign. “I don’t know that we need to get out the vote,” he told Fox News Thursday. “I think people that really wanna vote are gonna get out and they’re gonna vote for Trump.”

.. As Republican strategist Steve Schmidt noted on MSNBC, “the candidate in the race most like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney from a foreign policy perspective is in fact Hillary Clinton, not the Republican nominee.”

 And that’s how Republicans prefer their crazy — not like Trump, but like Cheney.

How the Bushes Misunderstood Cheney

If Ronald Reagan had not chosen George Bush as his Vice-President, there would be no Bush dynasty today. And if Bush’s fellow-Texan Ross Perot had not run against him, in 1992, there would be no Clinton dynasty, either.

.. What the Bushes expect from these people is not just competence but loyalty. There’s family, and then there’s staff. (Only one person, James Baker, has ever transcended those tight categories.) Staff pursue the family’s interests, not their own.

Bush 41’s news-making remark to Meacham was, in effect, an accusation that Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld had violated this cardinal rule during Bush 43’s Administration. Speaking about Cheney, Bush told Meacham, “He had his own empire there and marched to his own drummer. … It just showed me that you cannot do it that way. The president should not have that worry.”

.. As the C.E.O. of Halliburton, he was living in Texas at the time, rather than in Washington, and he projected a stolid, phlegmatic trustworthiness. He hardly ever said anything, so how could he have an agenda?

.. As the Secretary of Defense, he hired Paul Wolfowitz as one of the top officials in the Pentagon, and he tilted away from Mikhail Gorbachev and toward Boris Yeltsin because he believed that Yeltsin would push harder for the dissolution of the Soviet Union. After that happened, Cheney sponsored a study by Wolfowitz calling for the maintenance of a one-superpower world in the post-Soviet era as the core principle of U.S. foreign policy.

The Joe Biden Delusion

The drumbeat swells, coming from all directions, even from Dick Cheney. He recently did an interview with CNN, the first snippets of which were shown on Monday, and offered Biden the following counsel about 2016: “Go for it.” This is probably the most compelling evidence that Biden shouldn’t. When Cheney itches for an intervention, beware.

.. Aspects of his legislative record are more troubling for him now than ever before. As Nicholas Fandos noted in a recent story in The Times, Biden pushed for, and later crowed about, tough-on-crime legislation in the 1980s and 1990s that preceded the mass incarceration of today. That would be a wedge between him and the Democratic Party’s black voters especially.

And as Steve Eder noted in another recent story in The Times, Biden was, of necessity, an ambassador for the financial services industry in Delaware. That hardly positions him to win the favor of liberal Democrats who yearn for a crackdown on Wall Street.